Have you ever had just a truly mind-blowing snack? Like, it was so good and tasty, and filling, and energizing, that you just thought… “Man, that was one crazy good snack!” No? Just me? (I do have a tendency to go a bit over the top with food… check out my Instagram feed for more details on that…)
Well, maybe you’d change your mind, if you knew what exactly a snack was supposed to do for you. Have you ever thought about that? Why do we eat snacks? Is it because we’re hungry? Need fuel? Are about to workout? Are bored? Really, why do we eat them? Whether it’s mid-morning, late afternoon, or bedtime… everyone enjoys a good snack. ESPECIALLY if it’s tasty and gets the job done.
But what exactly do I mean by “gets the job done”? There are many reasons we eat snacks (many I listed above), but the primary reason is we need something to get us from one meal to the next without us starving and feeling tired.
So, basically snacks keep us full (or at least keep our stomachs from growling) and energized. But how do they do that?
To really understand that, we need to do a brief review of our MACRO nutrients: carbs, protein, and fat.
These three things are the only things that provide calories to our bodies. (The exception to that is alcohol, which also provides calories, but isn’t considered a nutrient.) They each serve different functions in our bodies and are absorbed at different speeds. Carbohydrates are processed the quickest. This means they leave our stomachs and get absorbed in our intestines faster than protein and fat do.
Carbohydrates give us quick energy.
Protein and fat take a little longer to digest, with fat taking the longest. Protein and fat, help keep us energized over longer periods of time. This is why an apple by itself (mainly carbs) only keeps you full for an hour, but an apple with peanut butter (protein and fat) keeps you full for 2-3 hours.
So, whenever I’m working with clients, I always give them my “perfect snack” formula…
Carbs + protein/fat = sustained energy and fullness.
There are so many great carb and protein/fat combos to pick from:
So, next time you’re wanting something to munch on between meals, make sure you’re giving yourself everything you need to keep you both energized AND satisfied!
As our awesome team of marketing and sales leaders get ready to hit the Natural Products Expo West show, all we can think about are carrots, carrots, carrots. We launch our NEW delicious, crunchy Carrot Sticks to the retail world this week at Expo West, so we’re all real pumped to show them off.
Get ready, world. You’re about to fall in love with a new plant-based superfood snack. Our Naked Carrot Sticks have 0 g of fat, 11 g of dietary fiber, 3 g of protein, 20% of your daily value of potassium, 15% of your DV of vitamin A…and they’re delicious!
My excitement for the new Carrot Sticks had another effect on me several weeks ago. They’re really good, and I was munching on a bag of our first production batch when it dawned on me that I wasn’t eating enough fruits and veggies. When we first started Rhythm, I had just gone through a product development exercise with Rip Esselstyn from the Engine 2 Diet, one of the foremost leaders in the plant-based diet movement. I had committed to a strict low-fat vegan diet for 60 days and had a full-blown blood analysis done the day before starting, and again at 30-days and 60-days after to see what effect this change in diet would have on my health. My eating habits prior to this leaned much further in the BBQ direction.
At the 60-day mark, my weight was down just over 10 lbs. and my cholesterol markers came down significantly. Before I started the diet, my cholesterol (LDL and Triglycerides) levels were in the range of having my doctor look at me and say that she would normally have that talk at this point about Statin drugs from here on out. I really didn’t want to take a pill every day, so I told her what I was doing with the Engine 2 Diet, and she agreed to wait and see how I did. With so many things that are unhealthy for us, the biggest hurdle we humans face is the ability to change our habits…especially eating habits. Our unhealthy habits are the source of much of what we have going wrong with our health: smoking, drinking, poor nutrition decisions; all difficult things to change if they’ve become a habit. Habits are habitual, of course. With this hard fact facing all doctors, it seems most have determined that the pharmacological solution (prescribing a pill or patch) is the most effective way to deliver a physiological change to someone rather than relying on personal effort to break these bad habits.
I chose to break the habit and was successful with the strict vegan diet for the full 60 days. After that, I didn’t revert back to my previous ways, but I did start to eat meat, eggs, cheese and other non-vegan foods in more moderation than I did previously. Thinking I had been successful and congratulating myself for it, I went on with my life. Fast forward 8 years later into 2018 and I became much more aware that I had gained back the weight I had lost and had to confront the fact that I was not eating as healthy as I had committed to years ago. The old habits came back, and now I had to own it.
So, in February I went in for a physical, which I hadn’t done in a few years. I told my doctor how I was feeling and had the full-blown blood work done again as part of the physical. Two weeks later I returned to review the lab results. I was back up to high levels with the LDL and Triglyceride numbers and added an elevated glucose level to the mix. I knew this would be the result of me slipping into those bad habits and it was.
I don’t ever want to take a daily regimen of pills. I’ve re-committed to healthier choices in diet and exercise, and I’m going to break the bad habits and do my best to stay on the “healthier-choice train.” I like to go all in when I start. It’s the way I get myself committed. So as of March 1st, I’m back on Rip’s Engine 2 Diet. So far so good!
With my travel bags filled with healthy snacking alternatives from Rhythm and other great companies, I’m ready for one of the biggest food shows we do every year: Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, CA. It starts today and we’re debuting our awesome Carrot Sticks! If you see me out and about, don’t let me slip, show me some encouragement, and I’ll report back with my results in May after I do the 60-day blood work and weight check.
My commitment is as follows:
If you are in the food business, come by our booth at Expo West (#5424, Hall E) to try our new Carrot Sticks and feel free to share your own health journey with me. I get encouraged by talking openly about this with people. If you aren’t in the food business, stay tuned for me to report back on my journey with honesty.
Eat More Plants!
It’s almost here! In just over 1 week Team Rhythm will be running to raise funds for one of our favorite local non-profits, Anthropos Arts, at the Austin Marathon on Feb. 18, 2018. Five Rhythm Superfoods employees (Allison, Ashley, Bri, Dan, and Emilea) will be running anywhere from a 5k to a full marathon. We’ll credit Dan with those marathon miles. 😉
Over $8,000 has been raised to-date but there is still time to contribute to this amazing non-profit that provides high-quality music education for low-income and at-risk students. DONATE – You can support the runners by donating to their fundraising pages. Simply follow this link here and click on “the team” to contribute towards a specific team member’s page. Every little bit counts!
“We’re so happy to have the synergy of health and wellness, and music all come together to show support for these kids’ education. It means more than you know and makes every bit of difference in their lives.”
– Dylan, Anthropos Arts Executive Director
ABOUT ANTHROPOS ARTS
Through Anthropos Arts, students not only get instruction from the best musicians, they also receive mentorship and the opportunity to perform onstage in Austin’s best venues and events. The non-profit serves over 150 students at 16 middle and high schools and offer music workshops and master classes for many more students each year.
The benefits of their programs are profound, affecting many aspects of students’ lives: overall academic success, self-discipline, self-esteem, and a pathway to college. Over the past five years, 100% of our senior students have graduated from high school, and more than 80% enrolled in college on scholarships. For the last four years, 100% of the seniors enrolled in college.
To learn more, please visit www.anthroposarts.org.
Contributing Writer & National Superfoods Day Partner: Mary Ellen of Milk & Honey Nutrition, @milknhoneynutrition.
Hi there! I’m Mary Ellen, the registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) behind Milk & Honey Nutrition. I’m a wife, mom (to two little girls, ages 4 and 2), foodie (but I seriously hate that word, ha), recipe developer, and lover of all foods…except cilantro, just can’t do it…but anyways…
I’m so excited that our first annual National Superfoods Day is finally here! This term “superfood” has been thrown around for years, and I don’t think any of us really ever knows what people mean when they use it…
Is it some random ingredient you have to buy in powdered form for $30/bag at Whole Foods?
Or maybe it’s just anything with kale in it?
But what about berries? Everyone says berries are superfoods, right?!
You see where I’m going. Up until now, there has been no consensus on what superfoods are and no agreed upon definition. When Rhythm Superfoods reached out and asked if I could help them create a science-based inclusive definition for “superfood” I jumped at the opportunity.
I’ve been interested in nutrition since I was very young. Being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 5 years old was a game changer. I’ve had to think about every little thing I eat from the very beginning. While most kids ate whatever they wanted, when they wanted; I was the 7-year-old at the birthday party scraping the icing off my cake because I knew what it would do to my blood sugars (and because my mom made me, ha). See, unlike most kids, I knew that food directly affected how I felt and acted. Combine that with a grandmother who could bake like no other (and passed that skill onto me), and I developed a love for creating delicious, fun, and nourishing recipes.
Now, as a busy wife and mom I know the struggles that come with preparing and eating nutritious foods and meals, and just how hard feeding myself, my husband, and two tiny humans can be. Yes, even the dietitian struggles sometimes. And, I love showing people the nourishing potential of everyday foods like kale, beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, chia seeds, beans…I could keep going.
Superfoods aren’t just random, ancient (and expensive!) foods you read about in an article and have no clue what they are. They’re the fruits and vegetables you buy every day. They’re the nuts that provide loads of protein, antioxidants, and fats. They’re the medjool dates and coconuts loaded with potassium and antioxidants…
So get excited because adding superfoods into your diet is probably way easier than you thought it was. Check out www.nationalsuperfoodsday.com to learn more about National Superfoods Day, view our definition of what a superfood is, grab a few recipes, and participate in the celebration!
Here are a few of my favorite “superfood” recipes…
Contributing Writer & Rhythm Superfoods Fan: Mark
For many years we’ve been told to reduce the intake of fat in our diet, but there’s plenty of healthy fats out there that we may be overlooking. As a matter of fact, according to the American Heart Association, in their “Get Healthy” section, they remind us that:
“Eating foods with fat is definitely part of a healthy diet. Just remember to choose foods that provide good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) and balance the amount of calories you eat from all foods with the amount of calories you burn. Aim to eat a dietary pattern that emphasizes intake of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains; includes low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, non-tropical vegetable oils and nuts; and limits intake of sodium, sweets, sugar sweetened beverages and red meats.”
Another thing we’ve had drilled into our heads over the years is using the food pyramid, but there’s a newer guide for getting a balanced diet through the “My Plate” method. The old pyramid method shows what we should be eating on a daily level, while the newer plate version gives a simpler view of what we should actually be putting onto our plates.
Another key difference is the increase of fruits and vegetables on our “plates,” the decrease of grains and most versions will recommend the consumption of more water. This follows along with the newer superfoods craze that has been sweeping the nation.
By definition, superfoods are those which are packed with vitamins, nutrients and other important ingredients that are beneficial to our overall health and well being. Usually people first think of greens, fruits and vegetables, but they also include:
We’ve become a nation of snackers and it’s actually healthier to eat smaller amounts of food more often throughout the day rather consuming two or three large meals. But it can be very challenging to snack healthier since we’ve become more accustomed to eating things like chips and other unhealthy go-to foods. The key here is choice, instead of grabbing a candy bar, opt for a handful of nuts. Rather that buying a bag of greasy potato chips, try some healthier alternatives like Rhythm Superfoods kale chips or broccoli bites that actually come in almost as many flavors as their fattier their less healthy counterparts.
When spring and summer are in the air, there’s dozens of fresh fruits and vegetables available for a quick afternoon pick-me-up. But don’t let the warmer months be the only time you opt for these healthier choices since there’s plenty of year-round favorites to chose from, everything from apples and oranges, to broccoli and snow peas.
Even though fresh is best, there’s still dried, canned, frozen and a plethora of different juices derived from fruits and vegetables.
Be creative with your meals and snacks. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy your favorite foods. Cut down on unhealthy choices and simply make better meals and snacks. Your body and mind will thank you in the long run.
Other Reference Sources:
Contributing Writer & Rhythm Superfoods Fan: Mark